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Travel Advisory: RIDOT to Temporarily Close Cottrell Bridge on Route 91 in Westerly for Rapid Bridge Replacement

On Tuesday, July 5, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will temporarily close Cottrell Bridge, which carries Westerly Bradford Road (Route 91) over the McGowan Brook in Westerly, for approximately three months. The structurally deficient bridge, which is posted at just 8 tons, will be completely replaced using accelerated bridge construction methods.

During the closure, RIDOT will sign a suggested detour for motorists using Route 78, Post Road (Route 1) and Dunn's Corner Road. A detour map is available at Drivers in the area should plan extra travel time, especially during weekends when roads are congested with summer beach traffic.

RIDOT will rapidly replace this bridge using corrosion resistant fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) girders instead of a conventional bridge with steel beams. Using this method allows RIDOT to get the bridge done twice as fast, limiting the closure to three months instead of nearly half a year.

The replacement of the bridge was timed to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Management's requirement to schedule certain construction activities only during a low-flow period for the McGowan Brook to minimize any impact on the environment.

While RIDOT expects to reopen the bridge this fall, final completion of the $5.5 million project is expected in spring 2023. The Cottrell Bridge carries approximately 4,300 vehicles per day.

All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.

The replacement of the Cottrell Bridge is made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Transportation
  • Online:
  • Release date: 06-22-2022

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